Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Essential Wetlands

Remember the 1960s sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY?
Do you remember the episode where Gomez was running for a political office?
How one of his proposals was to "save the swamps"?
And how that was supposed to be considered "dark humor"?
At the time such was considered a "deviant" concept. The ideal concept of "modern-day development" at the time was one of "beautifying" communities and neighborhoods.  Some of nature's "aberrations"---like overgrown vegetation, certain aesthetically unappealing native plants, and swamps and the like---were considered "eyesores" and either removed or paved over and replaced with either more appealing vegetation, or mad-made structures.  All in the name of progress and beautification.

Of course more recently we've become more aware of the follies of counteracting nature---even of disregarding the aspects of it we may find repulsive.  That by making too many unprecedented changes in the landscapes we have thrown the ecosystem in disarray, and that doing so might possibly be among the reasons for a lot of the unusual number of  natural disasters of the recent decades.  Among these revelations are of how essential all those wetlands are and of the purposes they serve(d).

Hence, a slogan like "Save the swamps", instead of being snidely ridiculed, would these days be revered as one of environmental sensibility.  Seems the Addamses were actually ahead of their time---and no-one at the time knew it.  Not even them.
Gomez Addams---accidental "environmentalist"?  I guess so...

Monday, October 24, 2011

More musings

A return to the definition of the word "respect":
While "reverence" means adulation of someone considered to be a "saving grace" or, maybe, a "gift from God" of sorts, "respect" is a little different:
One might say that a TRUE definition of "respect" is when you treat that other person like they're "part of the plan"---that is, like they're an integral part of everything else, an asset to those around them, like their coexistence enhances all around them.
Likewise, a definition of "disrespect" (or "disregard") is when you treat another person like they're "in-the-way"---either interfering with, or detrimental to, all around them. Either like they're an obstacle, a nuisance, or maybe even a threat somehow.

Speaking of social status issues, it's often been said that there are basically two types of people:
those who are allowed to enjoy life---and those who have to "carry the piss-buckets around" for everyone else.
A simple examination of one's own personal life can render the answer to which category you fit into.

Pride---what is it?
Someone once said that "being proud" is essentially having the demeanor of one who's never been beat up or locked up for doing anything wrong.
Being able (or willing) to behave like someone who's used to believing they're "never wrong".
Like one who's never had to answer to anyone for anything, thus they're able to be completely oblivious to any occasions in which they either are mistaken---or just plain unscrupulous, but since they're so sure of themselves they're able to rationalize and "justify" their words and/or behaviors.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More musings

Today at the laundromat, when I dried my "lights-and-whites", some of my towels and washrags came out shredded in spots.
I ended up having to cut out numerous loose threads after I got home.
Seems someone's coat zipper broke off and got stuck in the frame housing the dryer's lint filter, with the sharp broken ends sticking out, shredding the garments of the subsequent unsuspecting customers.
I don't know who the culprit was, the one who tore their jacket off the inside of the dryer and failed to notify the attendant-in-charge, but I'm guessing it was probably some stupid college kid. (This laundromat gets a lot of business from nearby Ohio State  University.) Anytime something is all-fucked-up I always blame "some stupid college kid".
Just something about "educated mother-fuckers"---they usually "don't seem to know very much".

That's what's always bothered me about the way society worships the "college crowd".  Like they're such geniuses already simply becaused they passed a GPA test in high school and get accepted at an accredited university.
They're just getting started already---they haven't even had a chance to prove anything by themselves yet.

The true geniuses are the ones who get honorary degrees AFTER achieving something great, substantial, or meritable. They're the ones who are able to figure things out on their own just out of simple curiosity and self-motivation.
Often they would otherwise not have much to show for themselves---in some cases not even having as much as a high school diploma.

I think the most successful people are not necessarily the brightest or most able. It's usually the most confident types. The one's who never have self-esteem problems.
They've always been patted-on-the-head and reassured how "special" they are. Hence, without self-doubt and self-consciousness or any other kind of psychological stumbling blocks distracting them they're able to stay focused and proceed unfettered. Even if they're not the sharpest cookies in the world they can still accomplish more than, say, someone who does have greater aptitude, but who suffer from a lot of "personal issues" they can't get off their minds long enough to relax and stay focused on anything.
The success of the "most confident" might account for all this incompetence we suffer from the business and professional realms. A little more patience with the "unsure" but sharp-and-more-aware could yield better overall results in the long run---but the world always "wants results now", so they always give the tasks to whoever is the quickest and has answers on the tip of their tongue.

It is kind of disgusting, really---the way society and the world are always fawning over the intelligentsias and academiacs.
Honestly, the academic circles are little more than regimented social and country clubs. And it's members are always obsessed with the latest trends, fitting in with the right crowd by looking and behaving in the proper demographic manner (the right clothes, using the right terminology and vernacular), and all sorts of self-image obsessive.
And the problem with those who are "more intelligent and knowledgable than you are" and who are "always right" is that when such people DO "fuck it all up" you can't point out their mistakes to them. It's like: "Are you sure it's not something YOU did?" ...or "No way! We know what WE'RE doing---and we never do shit like that."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Copy-Cat Cars

Have you ever notice how much cars these days all look so much alike?
I think anymore there's just one company who designs car bodies, and all the makers do all their business with this one company.

You'll notice there'll be three or four cars parked side-by-side: a Honda, a Ford, a Chevrolet, a Lexus, a Mercedes
...and, unless you look at the front logo, you can't hardly tell one apart from the other.

It's like that long-standing joke: "How does one tell a Lexus from a Honda? By the sticker price."

You know, in the late-1950s/early-1960s Mack had a really classy truck rolling on the highways---the G Model (which, personally, I think was the best-looking truck Mack ever made).
But, as the story goes, the truck maker Kenworth had a cabover model which looked somewhat similar. And they threatened to sue Mack for design plagiarism if they continued manufacturing their G Model. Hence, the G's were only in production for just under 2 years.

These days I don't think it would even be possible for any of the automakers to even attempt such a suit.
They'd only end up suing each other indefinitely.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Politics should be done sparingly

I'm getting sick of all the political telephone messages cluttering up the space on my answering machine.

Why are there so many election periods anyway?
Why don't they just have ALL elections once every four years as they do the main presidential ones?
We don't even just have "election years" anymore. We have "election periods".
It's not bad enough, they figure, to just have an-election-a-year---they now have "mid-year" and "mid-term" elections---like, elections in-between other elections (talk about "changing horses in the middle of a stream").
If you hate politics like I do, you stand to "never get any relief".

And they almost always involve undoing issues that were approved of just a few months earlier.
What's with all this "changing all the rules every five months" nonsense?

You don't suppose it might be because the legislation they keep offering up and approving is usually pretty worthless stuff?  A bunch of crap so unworkable and unrealistic that the flaws in them start showing up, like, maybe two weeks after being approved by the local and regional legislatures?
So, as soon as one new rule is enacted you have all these disgruntled "other groups" campaigning to undo it---maybe due to it's disruptive nature.

Would it be too much to ask of these idiots-in-charge to, maybe, come up with a rule or regulation that's actually worth-it's-salt?
A rule, an ordinance, which is comprehensive and comprises enough all-inclusive equilibrium that it can stand on it's own merit even ten years down the road without the necessity for any kind of amendments within.

Of course politicians have this OCD "power-and-control obsessive" disorder, in which they have a constant need for controlling things and other people's lives.
They need any excuse to hog the media spotlight as well as "get in everyone's faces"---and the only way they can accomplish this is by creating "issues".  To make it look like they have "just cause" for creating a stir.
And the crappier the rules they come up with---the more said rules created discord and dysfunction as opposed to actually solving any problems, the better the excuses they have for further jacking with the system. And with our private lives as well.

All some of us want is for these clowns to simply---once and for all---come up with a formula which will actually SOLVE the problems which get-in-our-way and prevent us from being able to just live-our-lives.
Rules and laws meritable and sensible enough to be worthy of keeping on the books indefinitely because they address the "human factors" and respect common sense and the ethos of functionality and practicality.

But---what do we get instead? Politics!
And with it blowhard politicians, radicals, and annoying telephone calls cluttering up space on my answering machine
...and all those annoying fliers being left on my screen door handle.

I hate politics!

Terms of Estrangement

One thing wrong with most people: no-one's ever "just a person".
I'll tell someone that and they'll get all confused.  They have no idea what I mean by that.

We have lots of "elitists", "homeless", "authority figures", "celebrities", "business owners", "students", "minorities", "gays", "union workers", "professionals", "teachers", "teenagers", "elderly", "middle-aged", "athletes", "those in the media", "meth-heads", "potheads", "lesbians", "crack-heads", "CEOs"---and the like.
But hardly anyone is ever "just a person".

When you're out in public and you run into others, do you think to yourself: "Oh! A fellow human being."
...or are you apprehensive about what you say or do?
This person might "take offense" if I say the wrong thing, and I may end up getting beat up, sued, or arrested.
There's always a fear factor involved when it comes to interacting with others.
You never know who they are, where they're coming from, or where they've been.
They could be out to scam you---or be observing you to see if you're "up to something".
There's never any kind of  trust factor when dealing with others.

And everyone's so cliche---so self-pegeon-holed---as well. Fitting into some demographic, whether academic, genderic, or social class.  No-one is ever "just another person"---just living their own life and only representing themselves.

Some people, you say "Hello" to them and they just glare at you, as if to say: "Excuse me---but I don't associate with your kind."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

AZN Television

Am I the only one who misses the cable TV channel AZN? "The Network For Asia-America" as they called it.
...although I watched it (part-time) myself (and I'm a middle-age white male).

Some of the things I appreciated about it:
It was well-programmed...it had a tight format;
It was very punctual---none of this "running five minutes over" or "starting five minutes early" nonsense that seems to be the modern-day norm for most of the other cable TV networks...when a program started at, say, 10:00 P.M., it started at just that: 10:00 P.M.;
Exposure to the type of commercial television programs which typified what was in vogue in some of the various countries comprising the Asian continent. With the courteous addition of subtitles it felt sort of like I was "being let in on a few trade secrets", as it's normally hard to establish any intimate ties with those of different backgrounds, being that everyone tends to be more-or-less loyal to one's own subculture, teachings, and beliefs, not really feeling "safe" in sharing such with those outside the realm of their "communities". Hence, there's always that element of "divisiveness" and "unknowing".

One thing about AZN that I found surprising: their broadcasts were always in mono---even though just about everything they programmed was recorded in stereo they themselves transmitted in mono.
Another thing about AZN:  they didn't really have a very big budget to operate on. They were kind of "small-time" operatives.  Of course this could explain why their primary source of revenue seemed to be all those cheesy infomercials.
I can attest to the fact that TIME-WARNER CABLE (on which I recieved AZN) didn't exactly hold AZN in highest esteem.  I always remembered the reception being really fuzzy---with considerable "drop-outs" during the period of 2003 through about mid-2006.  Later on there would periods where AZN "locked up" (both picture and sound) rendering the cable channel virtually unwatchable.  I'm sure this was probably a "TIME-WARNER thing"---but such irreverence on the part of major carriers might have also accounted (in part) for the "special-interest" cable channels eventual demise. 

More musings

What's with all these suitcases with the long handles and wheels on the bottom? WHEELS!!!
And people are actually strolling down the sidewalk pulling these along behind them---with the wheels rolling over ...God knows what: hock-wads; mud patches; dog crap...
And how does one navigate cracks in the sidewalk, uneven slabs, potholes?  Or crossing the street? If a car makes a sudden turn "right into you" unexpectedly, how do you "get out of their way" just as quickly? I would think pulling these babies behind you would impair one's flexibility in terms of agility.
Have people in general become so lame they're not able to carry their own luggage anymore?
And why is it always this one person---in the middle of town---strolling down the sidewalk dragging these suitcases behind them? Nowhere near the airport or the bus station... They're just pulling this thing behind them just all by themselves... ???

Have you ever noticed, when you're around a university campus area, how all college students have the same personalities? Nobody ever has their own individual character. Everyone is so cliche.
"College kids" remind me of the menu at McDonalds: you know, where everything comes from the same source, but is put in different containers? Pffft: Big Mac...Pfffft: Choclate shake....Pfffft: Apple pie
Well, it's that way with college students as well: Pfffft: Clueless "suburbanite" student....Pfffft: sorority bitch...Pfffft: Jock....Pffffft: Domineering "boyfriend"....Pfffft: "Minority" student....Pffffft: "Asian" student....Pfffft: Token geek....Pfffft: Punk rocker....Pfffft: Dopey lobotomized "skateboarder" dude....Pfffft: "Bicyclist"....Pffffft: Jogger.....Pffffft: Fitness freak....Pffffft: Stick-in-the-mud "femme fatale"....Pfffft: "Girlish" co-ed who acts likes she's still in grade school....Pfffft: Non-stop talkative "socialite" chronic butt-kisser....
Sometimes I wonder how anyone can write stories, movies, or television shows around the "college environment". It must take a few hat tricks of poetic license to pull those off, as a real-life portrayal of average college students would never lend itself to any possibilities of character development. For in order for there to be "character development" one must first have character to develop in the first place. But in the real-life college campus environment, FORGET IT!!! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why isn't Wall Street in jail?

...probably because it would be physically impossible to incarcerate an entire city street---or even an entire city block for that matter.

Of course that was the title to a strongly opinionated news article about all the shady business practices of some of the major investment firms, major banks and a few other prominent outfits whose activities adversely affected the stock market as well as numerous other interactive clients and customers.
And of how their unscrupulous behaviors managed to, among other things, pretty much turn the world economy "on it's head". And of how ineffectual the U.S. government is in the way it's dealing with this particular scenario.

Personally, I think the World Court should have the authority to rule on major issues of both moral and economic concern.  After all, they have a "human rights counsel", don't they? (Or something along that line, anyway).  And the events of 2008 have the ramifications of both (moral and economic), do they not?  If the World Court had even more authority than it does now (via inclusion of more "international laws") so as to overreach even further than it does now, they would then have the power to override the decisions of any country's "high court" in the event of any clear violations of international laws on the part of said country. That way not even a country's highest courts would always necessarily "have the last word" on actions and behaviors which can---or have potential to---affect the moral, financial, political, or social well-being not only nationally but also globally as well.

Of course the notion of the World Court having that kind of extensive legal clout is not an idea that would ever set too well with most nations.  The idea does have that element of "invasiveness" about it, for sure.
And what happens if corruption starts occurring inside the structures of the World Court itself?  Where is there to go after that? 
Good questions, yes.

Dilemma after dilemma.  Obviously the U.S. lacks that sense-of-responsibility to itself and to it's own people to tackle a lot of it's legal and moral problems resolutely and effectively---but, yes, what are the alternatives to allowing a major country (ANY major country) the right to continue it's sovereign right-to-self-governing?  There is something to be said for the notion of allowing any "outsiders" to intervene with U.S. affairs.

By the way, leave Wall Street itself alone.  It's only the offending moguls who should be locked up and charged ...and, upon conviction, sent to "the big house" a la "Al Capone".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fellow Libras

Coming up in another week---give or take---my 57th birthday. October 12.
Alright, so MY birthday is certainly nothing "eventful"---but there ARE a handful of others from around this time of year who's birthdays are more noteworthy:

The late former Beatle, John Lennon: he would have turned 71 this Sunday if he was still with us.

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, already a living legend, turns 70 a week from Thursday (the 13th).
"How terribly strange to be seventy." Actually, reality itself is always the same no matter where you're at in life. He was still in his 20s when he wrote that back in 1967 ...or 1968.

And an honorary mention of South Korean actress Bae Doo Na. You don't know who she is? Obviously you've never followed Korean dramas (or movies). Ms. Bae is probably one of the most talented character actresses ever in the history of cinema---in this case we're talking world-wide cinema. (As opposed to just that of one country or of one region, etc.). She definitely has the "getting into character" thing down-pat. To this day I STILL don't know what kind of personality she has---but I know the characters she played on each of the three dramas I saw in which she played the main characters ...I know THOSE characters by heart. And I'm sure in real life she's nothing like any of them.
Anyway, Bae Doo Na turns 32 on Tuesday, October 11 (Korean time, that is---she was born in Seoul on October 11 1979---which, by the way, was on a Thursday. However, on this here North American continent, that could mean it might be still-Monday-night, the 10th, when she turns 32).

And, finally, is Chuck Berry still living? If so, he'll turn 85 on October 18---which is a Tuesday. Is October 18 still in the "Libra" range? I'm not sure. But I don't care---Happy Birthday Charlie, just the same. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ad nauseam

You notice my site (so far) doesn't have any advertisements cluttering up the corners of each web page.
I hope to keep it that way, too.
I can't stand it when I come across something that looks interesting either on a search engine or as a link on someone's web site, but then when I try to get on that site there's so much unrelated clutter on it that it takes a good 3 or 4 minutes for the whole damn page to even load onto my computer ...and when it finally does I STILL can't scroll down to read whatever article I'm interested in reading due to continuous "loading"-in-progress---mostly advertisements and other "excesses".

I remember a quip I once heard describing advertising in general---whether TV or radio commercials or magazine and billboard ads:
That commercials and ads are "stationary medicine shows"---as opposed to the old "traveling medicine shows".
The mindset and contents are still pretty much the same, when one stops and thinks about it: the peddling of either "magic pills" or material gadgets which are supposed to "improve your life" somehow.

Hopefully those who venture onto this blogsite will experience and easier time getting to it's contents
...and not get all "bothered" about the absence of all those "fancy frills" a lot of other sites have---like the videos, mp3 audio tracks, and plethoras of photos.
I let my WORDS do all the work and provide all the contents for this site. Because that's what blogging is all about in the long run---an outlet for one's personal self-expression. If one's words can "speak" and "speak" well then they alone should be adequate enough to carry a whole blogsite completely on their own.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just don't call it "Immigration"

"Illegal immigrant"...what the hell is an "illegal immigrant"?

I don't know if anyone has ever thought about it before, but that term is an oxymoron. It's literally inaccurate and really makes no sense.

One cannot immigrate to another country unless said country makes it official. It has to be on record with the government of whatever country one's "moving to" that said individual has applied and has "been accepted" into said country as a "naturalized citizen" in order for said individual to be doing anything there besides just visiting---or even merely physically present in that country's territory, but maybe without the knowledge of any of their officials.

To immigrate requires abiding by whatever legal proceedings said desired country has for determining "eligibility" for being accepted into their society---and also of being able to meet their requirements for such as well. If you're lucky enough to be accepted by said country's government officials, then you become a citizen of said country. It's all a matter of paperwork and legalities.

To which I ask: What do you call someone who simply manages to enter into a strange country of which they're not a citizen---even somehow bypassing the customs officials at the borders---and then proceeds to simply start casually residing there the same way they did back in the country they come from?

Certainly not a citizen. An invader---in the legal sense, maybe. Granted, this person might otherwise not cause any problems for anyone---but the fact remains: this person should be just "visiting" and not hanging around for "the long run" as they haven't even entered this country legally so as to even have lawful entitlement to visit or to "just explore", being that they didn't even go through customs---which is always legally required, even for returning citizens of said country, who themselves have been "out of the country". This person's not even supposed to be here at all---and they're trying to LIVE here.

People who enter another country unlawfully are not immigrants. They're not even "visitors". They are INVADERS. They may not be dangerous ones necessarily or pose any kind of threats or anything of that nature...but they're still "invading" in the legal sense---a.k.a. internationally trespassing.